Saturday, March 3, 2012

Poclaiming 5 E's: Effort, Exercise, Economics, Energy, Evangelization

This was supposed to be the Friday entry but my body decided to doze off while getting my seven year old to sleep and did not get up in time to make the entry a Friday entry.  So, I'll have one very early morning Saturday entry and, I anticipate, a second Saturday entry later on.

In any case, whether I am as focused as I want to be or a pure dabbler, my body was tired because of making a lot of effort.  The first of the five E's of life that I am thinking about right now and that are listed in the title of this entry.  The five E's are all things that I value (and that I want to proclaim rather than mumble) and are all things that I have been blessed by God to be at least somewhat good at and to have the opportunity to enjoy.

Using a conceptual model from exercise (the second of my five E's and something I do quite a bit of--almost all in the form of running at the moment), effort can be described as a function of frequency (how often I do something), duration (how long I do something each time I do it), and intensity (how hard I work at doing something when I do it).  Running will be something for which I don't expect the frequency to change in the near future but for which I do expect the duration to change (no more marathon training for myself) and the intensity to change (maybe more intense shorter workouts to get ready for what I hope are some more intense and shorter races this year).  

Economics, the third of my five E's of life at the moment, is the root of my entire career in the school of public health as a health economist.  Economics is primarily about tradeoffs.  I teach people about tradeoffs, and I find myself making tradeoffs.  As I continue in my quest to figure out what I want to focus on (or proclaim rather than mumble), I have to figure out what things I want to decrease the frequency of (perhaps to zero) and what things I want to increase any aspect (frequency, intensity, and duration of).  And, along the way, do I want to do anything that tries to maintain a level of effort while trading off between a little less frequency or duration and a little more intensity.  This is a good description of the tradeoffs I'm pondering for exercise.

Energy--just a cute way to get the letter E in to focus on cooking--in other words controlling my energy intake so that I have enough energy to exercise and to put in the effort that is needed for work and my family while not gaining weight.  Again, all about tradeoffs.  And I certainly do enjoy sharing things about my cooking (or energy management) adventures.  Tonight was actually a great example when it came to cooking in which I faced a tradeoff of whether to go out (which we decided against as it would have involved taking two people who were already warm at home back out in the rain), getting pizza out (which we tried but our usual pizzeria was not answering the phone), or cooking (which we ended up doing having a nice dinner of sword fish steak accompanied by kim chi and seaweed salad and Italian rosemary bread).

Finally evangelization.  About the only time I feel like I literally do that is when I teach Sunday School at church or when I play in the worship band at church.  But I work a lot to think about my own spirituality and the gifts God has given me.  And I attempt to share my story of the importance of my spirituality and relationship with God by blogging.  I don't have a huge number of readers.  My readers can take it or leave it.  My readers certainly don't have to agree with all (or even anything) I write.  But if one reader finds one thing one time to brighten their day and then decides to think about their own spiritual issues a bit more, I feel that is a step in the right direction.  And my own tradoeff with respect to evangelization has been to do it more frequently during Lent.

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